Former UN and CARICOM Ambassador to Haiti Earl Huntley says the recent visit by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and three other Caribbean leaders with United States President Donald Trump is a ploy by the US President to create conflict among Caribbean states.
Other regional leaders have expressed similar sentiments. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonzalves called the meeting troubling, while Antigua and Barbuda’s prime Minister called the participating leaders “weak minded.” Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister was equally critical.
CARICOM and US representatives were scheduled to meet to discuss the Venezuela situation but the meeting was cancelled.
A few days later President Trump announced a meeting with a hand full of regional leaders.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Bahamas Prime Minister, Dr Hubert Minnis, President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise and Prime Minister of St Lucia, Allen Chastanet. The meeting had led to concerns of a growing rift among CARICOM
Mr Early Huntley says one of the main objectives of both CARICOM and the OECS is foreign policy coordination and harmonization and of late, that is not being practiced across the board.
According to Mr Huntley, based on the reaction to last week’s meeting, President Trump seems to be meeting his objective.
The leaders who met with Trump came under heavy fire from their counterparts.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has downplayed the criticism and has described the meeting as a success